“The sooner a person learns about their own brains then the sooner that the brain becomes aware of itself.
William F. Allman (from Apprentices of Wonder. Inside the Neural Network Revolution, 1989)
The brain is a monstrous, beautiful mess. Its billions of nerve cells - called neurons - lie in a tangled web that displays cognitive powers far exceeding any of the silicon machines we have built to mimic it.
Half a brain is too much for him who says little.
We need brain more than belly food.
Brain is worth more than brawn.
Where there are no brains, there is no feeling.
The less the brains, the bigger the hat.
You can borrow brains, but you can't borrow character.
Isaac Asimov (from the foreword to The Three-Pound Universe by J. Hooper and D. Teresi, 1986)
The human brain, then, is the most complicated organization of matter that we know.
David Bainbridge (from The Strange Anatomy of the Brain, New Scientist, January 26, 2008.)
The modern geography of the brain has a deliciously antiquated feel to it -- rather like a medieval map with the known world encircled by terra incognito where monsters roam.
Sharon Begley (from In Our Messy, Reptilian Brains, Newsweek magazine, April 9, 2007)
With modern parts atop old ones, the brain is like an iPod built around an eight-track cassette player.
Tim Berners-Lee (from Weaving The Web: the original design and ultimate destiny of the world wide web by its inventor, 1999)
There are billions of neurons in our brains, but what are neurons? Just cells. The brain has no knowledge until connections are made between neurons. All that we know, all that we are, comes from the way our neurons are connected.
R.J.A. Berry (from Brain and Mind or The Nervous System of Man, 1928)
An intimate acquaintance with some of the structural features of the human brain is thus seen to be not only necessary to the physician, but also to the psychologist, the educationalist, and the social worker.
Leonardo Bianchi (from The Mechanism of the Brain and the Function of the Frontal Lobes, 1922)
The brain is the great factory of thought. To it are directed all the forces of nature, forces which, for thousands of years, have been expending themselves upon it and impressing on it a slow and continuous motion of evolution.
Keith Black (quoted in Discover magazine, April, 2004)
If you look at the anatomy, the structure, the function, there's nothing in the universe that's more beautiful, that's more complex, than the human brain.
Colin Blakemore (from Mechanics of the Mind, 1977)
The brain struggling to understand the brain is society trying to explain itself.
Susan Blakemore (from "Meme, Myself, I", New Scientist, March 13, 1999)
In proportion to our body mass, our brain is three times as large as that of our nearest relatives. This huge organ is dangerous and painful to give birth to, expensive to build and, in a resting human, uses about 20 per cent of the body's energy even though it is just 2 per cent of the body's weight. There must be some reason for all this evolutionary expense.
Floyd E. Bloom (in Fundamental Neuroscience edited by L.R. Squire et al., 2003)
As we begin the 21st century, the Hubble space telescope is providing us with information about as yet uncharted regions of the universe and the promise that we may learn something about the origin of the cosmos. This same spirit of adventure is also being directed to the most complex structure that exists in the universe - the human brain.
Floyd E. Bloom (in the Introduction to Best of the Brain from Scientific American, New York: Dana Press, 2007)
The study of the human brain and its disease remains one of the greatest scientific and philosophical challenges ever undertaken.
Charles E. Boklage (from "Twinning, handedness, and the biology of symmetry," in Cerebral Dominance. The Biological Foundations edited by N. Geschwind and A.M. Galaburda, 1984)
Whatever happens in the mind of man is represented in the actions and interactions of brain cells.
Brain: an apparatus with which we think that we think.
Mind, n. A mysterious form of matter secreted by the brain.
Lord Brain (from Science and Man, 1966 and yes, that is his real name)
Just as brain development has greatly increased the range and scope of perception (that is, the receptive side of its activities) so it has enhanced the range and power of man's control over his environment
Paul Broca (as quoted by von Bonin in 1950)
There are in the human mind a group of faculties and in the brain groups of convolutions, and the facts assembled by science so far allow to state, as I said before, that the great regions of the mind correspond to the great regions of the brain.
Richard D. Broadwell (from Neuroscience, Memory and the Brain, 1995)
We sit on the threshold of important new advances in neuroscience that will yield increased understanding of how the brain functions and of more effective treatments to heal brain disorders and diseases. How the brain behaves in health and disease may well be the most important question in our lifetime.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (from Faust, 1808)
Ah! my poor brain is racked and crazed,
My spirit and senses amazed!
Helen Gurley Brown
Beauty can't amuse you, but brainwork -- reading, writing, thinking -- can.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Children use the fist until they are of age to use the brain.
Archie Bunker (character in All in the Family, 1971)
You'd better start mixing toothpaste with your shampoo. You're getting a cavity in your brain.
Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen (in the Academy Award-winning song Swinging on a Star recorded by Bing Crosby in 1944)
A mule is an animal with long funny ears
Kicks up at anything he hears
His back is brawny but his brain is weak
He's just plain stupid with a stubborn streak
And by the way, if you hate to go to school
You may grow up to be a mule.
Pierre Cabanis (from Traite du physique et du moral de l'homme, Second Memoir, 1802)
Impressions arriving at the brain make it enter into activity, just as food falling into the stomach excites it to more abundant secretion of gastric juice.
Santiago Ramon y Cajal
As long as our brain is a mystery, the universe, the reflection of the structure of the brain will also be a mystery.
The brain is a world consisting of a number of unexplored continents and great stretches of unknown territory.
To know the brain...is equivalent to ascertaining the material course of thought and will, to discovering the intimate history of life in its perpetual duel with external forces.
The brain: mind-boggling. But whatever mysteries that lie within its folds, there's no better stimulation for the brain of a driver than an empty road, a full tank of fuel and energizing music over the sound system.
Lewis Carroll (from Sylvie and Bruno, 1890)
My hand moves because certain forces----electric, magnetic, or whatever 'nerve-force' may prove to be----are impressed on it by my brain. This nerve-force, stored in the brain, would probably be traceable, if Science were complete, to chemical forces supplied to the brain by the blood, and ultimately derived from the food I eat and the air I breathe.
Cindy (character in The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, 2002)
I washed your brain, but I had trouble getting the think stains out.
Edward Clarke (from Vision: A Study of False Sight, 1878)
Sleep affords the opportunity, within certain limits, for the brain to act of itself, and dreams are the result.
Charles Coppens (from Moral Principles and Medical Practice The Basis of Medical Jurisprudence, 1897)
For the brain is the organ not of the imagination alone, which is put to an unhealthy strain by excessive mental labor, but probably also of the passions, whose emotions when excessive may cause even permanent lesion.
William C. Corning (from The Mind: Biological Approaches To Its Functions, 1968)
In the study of brain functions we rely upon a biased, poorly understood, and frequently unpredictable organ in order to study the properties of another such organ; we have to use a brain to study a brain.George Costanza (from "The Reverse Peephole" episode of Seinfeld TV show, 1998)
Because important things go in a case. You got a skull for your brain, a plastic sleeve for your comb, and a wallet for your money.
Peter Coveney and Roger Highfield (from Frontiers of Complexity. The Search for Order in a Chaotic World, R., New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1995, p. 279)
It is unmatched in its ability to think, to communicate, and to reason. Most striking of all, it has a unique awareness of its identity and of its place in space and time. Welcome to the human brain, the cathedral of complexity.
Apollo Creed (character played by Carl Weathers in the movie Rocky, 1976)
Sports make you grunt and smell. Stay in school, use your brains. Be a thinker, not a stinker.
Francis Crick (from What Mad Pursuit, 1988)
It is essential to understand our brains in some detail if we are to assess correctly our place in this vast and complicated universe we see all around us.
Francis H.C. Crick (from Scientific American, September, 1979)
There is no scientific study more vital to man than the study of his own brain. Our entire view of the universe depends on it.
MacDonald Critchley (from The Divine Banquet of the Brain, 1979)
We must admit that the divine banquet of the brain was, and still is, a feast with dishes that remain elusive in the blending, and with sauces whose ingredients are even now a secret.
William Cullen (1710-1790; from Institutions of Medicine, Pt.)
Sensation and volition, so far as they are connected with corporeal motions, are functions of the brain alone...the will operating in the brain only, by a motion begun there, and propagated along the nerves, produces the contraction of the muscles.
Antonio R. Damasio (from How the Brain Creates the Mind, Sci. American (Special Issue), vol. 12, p. 4, 2002.
More may have been learned about the brain and the mind in the 1990s -- the so-called decade of the brain -- than during the entire previous history of psychology and neuroscience.
Charles Darwin (from The Origin of Species, 1859)
It is certain that there may be extraordinary mental activity with an extremely small absolute mass of nervous matter: thus the wonderfully diversified instincts, mental powers, and affections of ants are notorious, yet their cerebral ganglia are not so large as the quarter of a small pin's head. Under this point of view, the brain of an ant is one of the most marvelous atoms of matter in the world, perhaps more so than the brain of a man.
Charles Darwin (from Autobiography, 1887)
If I had to live my life again I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once a week; for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied could thus have been kept active through use.
Joel Davis (from Mapping the Mind: The Secrets of the Human Brain and How it Works, 1997)
The human brain is the last, and greatest, scientific frontier. It is truly an internal cosmos that lies contained within our skulls. The more than 100 billion nerve cells and trillion supporting cells that make up your brain and mine constitute the most elaborate structure in the known universe.
William Henry Day (from Headaches; their Nature, Causes, and Treatment, 1880)
The brain cannot stand like a monument, and maintain its integrity.
Peter de Vries (from Comfort Me with Apples)
We know the human brain is a device to keep the ears from grating on one another.
Jose M.R. Delgado (from Physical Control of the Mind, 1969)
The brain, or cerebrum, is a material entity located inside the skull which may be inspected, touched, weighed, and measured. It is composed of chemicals, enzymes, and humors which may be analyzed. Its structure is characterized by neurons, pathways, and synapses which may be examined directly when they are properly magnified.
William C. Dement (from The Promise of Sleep, 1999, p. 231)
Sleep deprivation is the most common brain impairment.